Veppilai Katti June 23, 2007Posted by live2cook in Pickles and Condiments.
Two days ago, I was all set with my post for this week’s alphabet “V” in Nupur’s A-Z of Vegetables event. The final proof reading and hitting the publish button were the things that I had to do. I decided that I will be doing it on Thursday evening after returning from work. But things drastically changed when I happened to see a wonderful set of photos.
At my work, they conduct a photography competition every year and the photos of the winners and the finalists will be used in the coming year’s calendar. They pick eligible photos through a poll. The final day for casting the vote was on Friday.
As always, I took a look at those photos with the intention that I might get some ideas on photography and it will be useful for my blog. There was a category “Photo essay” in which the contestants had expressed their views in 3 photos. One such essay caught my attention. They were very simple photos, A 90 year old Grand Mother and her grand child were the theme of the photos. The Grand child was sitting in the lap of the grandma and the 3 photos explained them enjoying their moment. The happiness in the grandma’s face and the feeling of warmth and comfort in the child’s face……
During the long drive back home, I was filled with the memories of my Grandma. The moments we spent together…especially helping her when she worked with the mortar and pestle (Ammikkal, ural) in our backyard… The unique recipes she prepared….The taste of her “Veppilai katti”….
I thought, wait! Wait! Wait! what was that? Hmmmmmmmm! … “Veppilai katti”. Wow! what a perfect recipe for “V” alphabet in A-Z of vegetables… But there is no vegetable in this….what to do…Green leafy items also fall under vegetables….Cool! and that was it.
The Plan changed, from that moment on, my entry was going to be “Veppilai Katti”. But wait! I did not remember how my grandma used to prepare it? I knew she used curry leaves and Naraththai(citrus) leaves. I did not know the complete recipe. With no hope and with grandma not around, I typed “Veppilai katti” in google and viola! there was one recipe!!! The recipe post gives very interesting explanation to the name.
I jumped into action and made some variation to the original recipe.
The recipe is:
1/2 cup Curry leaves
1/2 cup Kaffir lime leaves (Since Kaffir lime leaves have very strong citrus flavor than Indian lime leaves, I took equal amount as Curry Leaves)
2 tablespoons Ajwain seeds
1 tablespoon Dried Naraththai pieces (optional) (Since the recipe gets the aroma from Naraththai Leaves and they are not available in US, I used a small piece of the dried fruit)
1/4 cup Dried Red Chili pieces
2 teaspoons Salt
1 teaspoon Asafetida
Juice of 1 Lime + 2 teaspoons water
1/2 teaspoon Jaggery ( I added jaggery to balance the hot and sour taste)
1. In a spice grinder, powder the Ajwain, Red chili pieces, salt, Asafetida and Jaggery.
2. Coarsely grind the Curry leaves, Dried Naraththai pieces (if using) and Lime leaves.
3. Mix the ground leaves and the spice powder.
4. Mix the Lemon juice.
I Pounded everything to the desired consistency in a Stone Mortar and Pestle.
Keeping with the tradition, I shaped it to round.
The Recipe yielded a lemon sized ball of “Veppilai Katti”. Use in small amounts as condiment. We can store it for months in refrigerator. “Veppilai Katti” aids in digestion.